Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/30/13 at 10:56 AM ET
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
This past off-season, in these low-scoring days of the 2010s, the NHL mandated the skyscraping goalie pads of recent vintage be shortened. Using a formula corresponding to each goaltender’s dimensions, the aim was to make the pads more “anatomically proportional.” The result was that some goaltenders were required to lop as much as a couple of inches off their pads — a move the league hoped and expected would lead to fewer saves and more scoring.
Last year, the league average save percentage was .909. This season, heading into Friday’s games, it has shot up to .912, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Goaltenders have been better, not worse, since one of their defining pieces of equipment was altered.
Meanwhile, if the overriding intention of the goalie-equipment tweak was to produce more goals — well, so far it hasn’t had the desired effect. Scoring is at its lowest level since the 2004-05 lockout, down to 5.30 goals a game this season from 5.31 the season before.
Smaller pads, in other words, are so far shaping up to be a big flop.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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